Home Op-Ed The importance of a WWE midcarder

    The importance of a WWE midcarder

    WWE has been ridiculed at times for having trouble with their efforts of midcard storylines and matches for their women roster. A midcarder in wrestling is defined as, a wrestler who is seen as higher than a lowcarder, but below a main-eventer, who is often wrestling for the secondary title of a federation. The current problem with this definition is that there are no secondary titles for the WWE in the women’s division, as of yet. Without a secondary title, having a solid midcard is even more crucial as it can set the stage for a number one contender for the current titles.

    The championship matches, or main event contenders on both brands have been successful as of late. We witnessed this especially on the SmackDown brand for the past few months as Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch have demolished one another every chance they get. Ronda Rousey has been at the top of the Raw division since August of this year at the SummerSlam pay-per-view. She has defeated five-time Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, the longest reigning Diva’s Champion Nikki Bella, and now she has the self-proclaimed “facebreaker,” Nia Jax, next in her sights.

    With both brands having the title matches under control even though Lynch is injured, it normally seems to be a struggle to have a successful storyline for the women on the midcard. Some fans would argue that if they were to introduce the tag team title belts for the women, then it would give them a more valid reason to have a solid midcard. Although the tag team titles are rumored, Stephanie McMahon stated back in July that the time has not reached yet. In recent weeks, there has been a slight change towards other storylines that are not involving either one of the championships.

    On the Raw roster, Ruby Riott and Natalya have been feuding heavily ever since Riott destroyed Natalya’s late fathers glasses at ringside just a few weeks ago. Riott and Natayla were both subsequently selected to be a part of the five on five Survivor Series team this past Sunday. After a locker room argument between the two on the kickoff show, team captain Alexa Bliss removed both women from the team. The next night Natalya seeked her revenge on Riott and was able to defeat her in their one on one match-up. Two weeks prior on Raw, Natalya was attacked by the Riott Squad, but this win was crucial to gain momentum. Hopefully this feud can continue, and even without a championship on the line, maybe it can receive a spot on a future pay-per-view.

    On the SmackDown Live roster, the tag team of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville have had rumblings of a break up that could lead to a potential feud. Both women have had similar paths from the start of their careers with the WWE and have grown to be best friends inside as well as outside of the ring. Rose and Deville started on the last revival season of Tough Enough in 2015. After this, Rose was featured on a season of Total Divas and the pair went through developmental together. The two also debuted on the main roster together with Paige in a stable known as Absolution one year ago this month.

    Through all of this sisterhood, Rose used the “everybody for themselves” mentality during the battle royal at last month’s pay-per-view, Evolution. The battle royal had the winner receiving a championship match in the future. The match was won by Nia Jax, but Rose did attempt to do all she could to win which included eliminating Deville herself from the match. Since then Rose has been acting “confused” as to why Deville has been upset with her.

    In a WWE exclusive in regards to their anniversary of their one year main roster debut, Deville shares that she no longer trusts Rose, and Rose is left confused as to why.

    Rose and Deville teamed up this week on SmackDown to face the team of Naomi and Asuka. They came up on the losing end of this match, thanks to some miscommunication between the two. It culminated with Deville who tagged herself in. Rose went for what appears a knee to Asuka and with quick-moving by the Empress of tomorrow, Rose almost kneed her tag team partner. This was enough of a distraction for Asuka to take advantage and applied the Asuka lock submission on Deville for the win.

    The importance of an eventual turn by either Rose or Deville in this respect is pivotal because it could propel one or both of them as a singles competitor. Currently Rose has the better mic skills, but Deville is arguably better in the ring. It has proven time and time again that best friends can make some of the best rivalries. For instance, most recent is Lynch versus Flair, but we have also seen this in the past with Lita versus Trish Stratus. A better midcard blueprint could benefit a few other superstars if done right. The likes of Mickie James and Ember Moon could have an intense rivalry.

    Although James and Moon have rarely battled it out in the ring in a singles match, the two have their past successes. James with the longer resume is a five time WWE Women’s Champion, a one time WWE Diva’s Champion, and a three-time TNA Knockout’s Champion. Her heel persona could benefit an opponent such as Moon who has limited mic skills even though she performs well in the ring.

    Moon could use a heel turn in the future, keeping James as the heel in this scenario could pull out better mic skills in her with an exchange of disparaging remarks. Moon is no stranger to being a champion herself as she was a previous NXT Women’s Champion. Both ladies have come from the independent scene, and besides a one-off match in April of this year, the two would be a refreshing feud to see.

    Another two women who could benefit from a non title feud is Nikki Cross against Sarah Logan. This one is trickier as they are not currently on the same brand. They both also came from the independent scene where Logan was known as Crazy Mary Dobson and faced many competitors that never shied away from becoming hardcore. Cross has been known to be “crazy” herself in her current gimmick on NXT. This type of feud could boil into a stipulation style match such as inside a steel cage or even a falls count anywhere bout. Both women could be potential champions, and a feud between the two could propel them into a number one contenders spot.

    It may be too soon to see how long the Riott and Natalya feud will last, or if Rose and Deville will lead to anything worth mentioning again, but only time will tell. If done right it could help make the women’s division better and put a stamp on what the crowd wants to see.

    Nick Wilkinson
    Nick Wilkinson is a self-proclaimed wrestling connoisseur. He has been a wrestling fan since the age of 15 years old when he attempted to fit in with the "cool kids." It only took his love for the Hardy Boyz and Lita to be hooked for the past 20 years. He graduated from Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD with a B.A. in Mass Communications. Besides wrestling, he loves Funko pops, horror movies, all types of music, and pizza a little too much.